- Volkswagen-backed Scout Motors will spend $2 billion to build its first all-electric truck and rugged SUV manufacturing plant in South Carolina, the company announced last week.
- The facility will occupy a 1,100-acre plot near Columbia, South Carolina. The location will offer Scout Motors access to major highways, the Charleston and Savannah ports and a strong local talent pool, the company said in a release.
- The EV maker plans to break ground on the plant mid-year and expects to begin producing vehicles by the end of 2026.
Scout’s utility vehicles were a popular brand of the 1960s and 1970s. Volkswagen relaunched the cars, now produced as EVs, under an independent company based in the U.S. last May.
“Electrification provides a historic opportunity to enter the highly attractive pick-up and R-SUV segment as a Group, underscoring our ambition to become a relevant player in the U.S. market,” Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said in a statement at the time of Scout’s launch.
The reimagined Scout vehicles are forecasted to hit the road as other major industry players such as Ford and GM expect to ramp up their EV production.
Scout’s EVs will be built on a new all-electric platform that delivers “off-road prowess,” including attributes like ground clearance, robust axles and all-electric range, among other features, according to the release. The facility is expected to produce more than 200,000 vehicles per year when at full capacity.
“It’s the vehicle that took your family on a camping trip, that gave access to the great outdoors, and that showed up on the job site every morning,” President and CEO of Scout Motors Scott Keogh said in a statement.
South Carolina is betting big on EV manufacturing in the state. Gov. Henry McMaster signed an executive order in October to prioritize recruiting EV-related businesses, training the local workforce and centralizing industry-related work within the state’s Department of Commerce.
That same month, automaker BMW announced a $1 billion investment in its Spartanburg, South Carolina plant to prepare to manufacture six electric vehicle models. And in December, its battery supplier moved to the state with plans for an $810 million battery production facility.